stars, stripes and fireworks
Ooooooooo, ahhhhhhhhhh! These are the sounds that you might hear from kiddos while watching a firework display. The Fourth of July should be a fun time for the family to get together and enjoy a patriotic celebration, not a trip to the emergency department. This Fourth of July remember that safety should be the top priority! Fireworks can cause serious injuries including burns, fires, blindness and even death.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, U.S. hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 12,900 people for fireworks related injuries in 2017. Children younger than 15 years of age accounted for more than one-third (36 percent) of those injuries. Dayton Children’s Hospital sees a few children around this time of year for injuries related to at-home fireworks including sparklers and bottle rockets.
“Kids should never play with fireworks.” Says Abbey Rymarczyk, safe kids greater dayton coordinator at Dayton Children’s Hospital. “Sparklers and other fireworks can be extremely dangerous. If you do choose to use them, make sure to keep them outside and away from the face, clothing and hair.”
Here are six tips to remember as you start to get ready for the Fourth of July:
- Let the professionals handle the fireworks. Many communities put on public firework displays for families to come and enjoy. Make plans to attend a public firework display rather than trying to put one on yourself.
- Use glow sticks instead of sparklers. Sparklers can heat up to 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit – HOT! Our little ones have arms that are too short to hold sparklers which can cause them to hold sparklers way too close to their face. Try substituting glow sticks for sparklers. These can be just as fun and won’t get so hot.
- Buy only legal fireworks (legal fireworks have a label with the manufacturer’s name and directions; illegal fireworks are unlabeled) and store them in a cool, dry place.
- Be educated. If you decide to light fireworks at home, make sure you know what you’re doing! Don’t wear loose clothing, never light fireworks inside and make sure that you point fireworks away from homes, people and anything flammable like brush, leaves and dry grass. And don’t let kids play with them!
- Keep a safe distance. Make sure that everyone is a safe distance away from where the fireworks are being lit. If something is lit and it doesn’t go off, do not try to investigate it. Instead, keep a bucket of water nearby to dump on it and to make sure that the firework doesn’t go off later.
- Be prepared. If you are going to let off fireworks at home, make sure that you have a fire extinguisher close by and know how to work it just in case fire happens. And teach your child how to call 911 in case of an emergency.